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Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game – Fame and Fortune» Forums » Variants

Subject: Arabia reloaded rss

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Sebastian Valmont
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After many games and long hours of contemplating here is the one and only absolute balancing guide to Arabia whistle

Newbies get 4 Ressouces on their first game. After that reduce the amount with the amount of games played. If you played a handful of games, choose 2 ressources, pros get 0 Ressources. Everything else stays the same.
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El-ad David Amir
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I still vote towards the solution of removing Arabia entirely

With that said, removing their starting resources is also a plausible solution.
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Daniel Hammond
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IirionClaus wrote:
I still vote towards the solution of removing Arabia entirely :)

With that said, removing their starting resources is also a plausible solution.


I think that the resources aren't the problem, and even without them they are still too powerful. (What I can't understand is why they felt they needed those too).
 
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dlhammond wrote:
I think that the resources aren't the problem, and even without them they are still too powerful. (What I can't understand is why they felt they needed those too).

Lack of ample testing?
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dlhammond wrote:
IirionClaus wrote:
I still vote towards the solution of removing Arabia entirely

With that said, removing their starting resources is also a plausible solution.


I think that the resources aren't the problem, and even without them they are still too powerful. (What I can't understand is why they felt they needed those too).


See, this is where I disagree. Arabia without 4 Ressources is pretty much like Rome. You get steps on the track for investments instead of cities and wonders. I would argue that Rome gets more steps from the ability than Arabia and Rome gets them way earlier.

Mathematics vs. Code of Laws is board dependent and the 2 culture for every ressource spent isn't that much. How many ressources do you spent in an average game? 5? 10? So it's still good, but not over the top.

On a sidenote: give the ressources to india
 
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pittpatt wrote:


See, this is where I disagree. Arabia without 4 Ressources is pretty much like Rome. You get steps on the track for investments instead of cities and wonders. I would argue that Rome gets more steps from the ability than Arabia and Rome gets them way earlier.

Mathematics vs. Code of Laws is board dependent and the 2 culture for every ressource spent isn't that much. How many ressources do you spent in an average game? 5? 10? So it's still good, but not over the top.

On a sidenote: give the ressources to india :D


Resources do powerful things. For Arabia they are more powerful, because they also let him advance on culture same as investing. I agree that the investment bonus is more or less = to Rome's. But that is Rome's whole ability, they don't get the upgraded military unit, level 2 tech for free which is big because usually you have to take Irrigation first so for most people that is a turn 4-5 thing, with EftA you not only advance on culture for taking it you advance more from the free culture you gain from doing everything else you do (as you spend resources). Most people have to detract from their other things to gain culture, Arabia gains culture from every strategy as they invest and spend resources. Arabia doesn't only have upgraded catapults with Mathematics they also get to inflict 3 damage to your units and gain 2 culture with an Iron. All of that is a REALLY big deal. Far less than the 4 free market resources.

India doesn't need resources as much as they need more resource symbols on their starting board.
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El-ad David Amir
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pittpatt wrote:
Arabia without 4 Ressources is pretty much like Rome. You get steps on the track for investments instead of cities and wonders. I would argue that Rome gets more steps from the ability than Arabia and Rome gets them way earlier.

Arabia without four resources is NOTHING like Rome.

a) You clearly stated that Rome gets their steps earlier. I agree. In fact, Rome usually has to get them earlier (unless they set up a late game wonder engine). And that is a bad thing. Let's say Rome gets four early game advancements; that usually translates into 12-17 Culture and 0-3 Trade. If Arabia times their ability for mid to late game advancements, it translates into 20-22 Culture and 9-15 Trade. Arabia is much more flexible at timing their advancement.

Furthermore, I would argue that setting up a Coin engine is much easier than a Wonder engine. Even without the four starting Resources, Arabia should be able to invest every turn starting turn four or so, leading to six to eight free advancements. While Rome could get the same amount if they conquer Cities or if they're lucky with the starting Villages, I do not think it's as easily attained as Arabia's ability.

b) Mathematics vs. Code of Laws is not board dependent. I will always take a Unit upgrade and a powerful combat ability over CoL's Trading Posts and Republic. The one advantage of CoL is that it has a Coin generation ability; this is offset by the fact that CoL is a level one tech. Math greatly increases your early game offensive and defensive capabilities, essentially giving you a free pass for the early game.

pittpatt wrote:
Mathematics vs. Code of Laws is board dependent and the 2 culture for every ressource spent isn't that much. How many ressources do you spent in an average game? 5? 10? So it's still good, but not over the top.


c) How many resources do you spend in an average game? Well, that depends on your game plan. I would argue that with Arabia the answer is "as much as you can". With a solid early game infrastructure and some compelling trading you *can* reach ten resources: Horseback Riding on turn two gives you eight to ten resources. Chivalry on turn three- seven to nine. Metal Casting on turn five- four to six. Mix and match as you please, depending on your board, and this does not take into account Pottery. Which translates to TWENTY Culture, or almost three steps on the III track.

Did you really just say that this is "not over the top"?? Twenty Culture is roughly equivalent to three to four City Actions. And it's just ONE of Arabia's two abilities.

To summarize: Yes, taking the four starting resources shuts down Arabia's turn two Pottery. It weakens Arabia; but this is not enough. Even without the four starting Resources Arabia is still significantly more powerful than the other civilizations.

EDIT: And why on Earth would you give these resources to India, which is probably among the top 4/5 Civilizations?
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dlhammond wrote:
pittpatt wrote:


See, this is where I disagree. Arabia without 4 Ressources is pretty much like Rome. You get steps on the track for investments instead of cities and wonders. I would argue that Rome gets more steps from the ability than Arabia and Rome gets them way earlier.

Mathematics vs. Code of Laws is board dependent and the 2 culture for every ressource spent isn't that much. How many ressources do you spent in an average game? 5? 10? So it's still good, but not over the top.

On a sidenote: give the ressources to india


Resources do powerful things. For Arabia they are more powerful, because they also let him advance on culture same as investing. I agree that the investment bonus is more or less = to Rome's. But that is Rome's whole ability, they don't get the upgraded military unit, level 2 tech for free which is big because usually you have to take Irrigation first so for most people that is a turn 4-5 thing, with EftA you not only advance on culture for taking it you advance more from the free culture you gain from doing everything else you do (as you spend resources). Most people have to detract from their other things to gain culture, Arabia gains culture from every strategy as they invest and spend resources. Arabia doesn't only have upgraded catapults with Mathematics they also get to inflict 3 damage to your units and gain 2 culture with an Iron. All of that is a REALLY big deal. Far less than the 4 free market resources.

India doesn't need resources as much as they need more resource symbols on their starting board.


The investment bonus is less benefical than romes bonus. First I would always prefer cards and GP in turn 1-4 than in turn 4-7. Any "Drought" or "Citizens are revolting" or "Exchange" is worth A LOT on turn 2-4.

Secondly I would argue that Mathematic and upgraded Artillery is not that much of a bonus (except against Germany) without iron(!) and enough production in your cities. It's hard to quantify CoLs bonus as it is depending on the amount of barbs and suitable settling spots reachable with your figures, but I prefer flexibility in the beginning to sher power later on.
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IirionClaus wrote:
pittpatt wrote:
Arabia without 4 Ressources is pretty much like Rome. You get steps on the track for investments instead of cities and wonders. I would argue that Rome gets more steps from the ability than Arabia and Rome gets them way earlier.

Arabia without four resources is NOTHING like Rome.

a) You clearly stated that Rome gets their steps earlier. I agree. In fact, Rome usually has to get them earlier (unless they set up a late game wonder engine). And that is a bad thing. Let's say Rome gets four early game advancements; that usually translates into 12-17 Culture and 0-3 Trade. If Arabia times their ability for mid to late game advancements, it translates into 20-22 Culture and 9-15 Trade. Arabia is much more flexible at timing their advancement.

Furthermore, I would argue that setting up a Coin engine is much easier than a Wonder engine. Even without the four starting Resources, Arabia should be able to invest every turn starting turn four or so, leading to six to eight free advancements. While Rome could get the same amount if they conquer Cities or if they're lucky with the starting Villages, I do not think it's as easily attained as Arabia's ability.

b) Mathematics vs. Code of Laws is not board dependent. I will always take a Unit upgrade and a powerful combat ability over CoL's Trading Posts and Republic. The one advantage of CoL is that it has a Coin generation ability; this is offset by the fact that CoL is a level one tech. Math greatly increases your early game offensive and defensive capabilities, essentially giving you a free pass for the early game.

pittpatt wrote:
Mathematics vs. Code of Laws is board dependent and the 2 culture for every ressource spent isn't that much. How many ressources do you spent in an average game? 5? 10? So it's still good, but not over the top.


c) How many resources do you spend in an average game? Well, that depends on your game plan. I would argue that with Arabia the answer is "as much as you can". With a solid early game infrastructure and some compelling trading you *can* reach ten resources: Horseback Riding on turn two gives you eight to ten resources. Chivalry on turn three- seven to nine. Metal Casting on turn five- four to six. Mix and match as you please, depending on your board, and this does not take into account Pottery. Which translates to TWENTY Culture, or almost three steps on the III track.

Did you really just say that this is "not over the top"?? Twenty Culture is roughly equivalent to three to four City Actions. And it's just ONE of Arabia's two abilities.

To summarize: Yes, taking the four starting resources shuts down Arabia's turn two Pottery. It weakens Arabia; but this is not enough. Even without the four starting Resources Arabia is still significantly more powerful than the other civilizations.

EDIT: And why on Earth would you give these resources to India, which is probably among the top 4/5 Civilizations?


First of: yeah!! I like controversial discussion as much as I love this game :-) That having said:

What you guys don't understand is that this game has tons of resemblance to modern finance. Of course, the amount of "culture gain" is different, but there is another factor time preference: getting 3-4 I culture cards early is better than gaining them in turn 5-8. Getting Drought, Exchange, Revolts or We love... early is all about flexibility and denying your opponent important actions early (where they matter most).

Mathematics is useless without iron, which is not on the arabian starting tile and has to be found or traded and with the frequency of Chivalry the upgrade of ART units is not that much of a hassle.
(Furthermore Arabia gets the first bonus with the second ressource spent). I guess that you are mentally comparing Arabia without ressources to Arabia with "Spend Ressource: 1 Token".

So according to your logic a late wonder or barbs is worth 7 culture and 6 trade? Did you factor that in?

PS: India is good, but not a top-tier Civ.
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We have played a lot of games, including a 2 player set where both of us won easily with Arabia... And it wasn't the 4 extra resources.
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Ricardo Donoso
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To make Arabia playable you would have to tune it so much that it would become a new civilization, so, you can just go with some of the custom made civs.

Taking Arabia's four starting resources out will not by ANY means make it weaker then Rome.

Arabia has two other major advantages,

1 - Arabia starts with math, you can research CoL on turn1, Rome can NOT research Math on turn one.

2 - Arabia walks for free on culture when they invest, so, if you are playing Arabia you have a single setback, you can not go economy.

You will invest, either in MIC or in EftA, if you invest on EftA you will have a shorter culture track then the others, if you go for MIC you have free walks on culture and free culture tokens when you use iron.

So,

Arabia is not playable if you want a fair game.
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Some of the mods made test 1x1 games using arabia a little time ago, and we saw Arabia beat even a very good opening heavy analized Spain, and it was NOT the starting resources that made the game be forfeit. Arabia is much superior.
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dlhammond wrote:
We have played a lot of games, including a 2 player set where both of us won easily with Arabia... And it wasn't the 4 extra resources.

On the forums?
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rdonoso wrote:
Some of the mods made test 1x1 games using arabia a little time ago, and we saw Arabia beat even a very good opening heavy analized Spain, and it was NOT the starting resources that made the game be forfeit. Arabia is much superior.


1. What game was it? PBF?
2. What was it then?
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pittpatt wrote:
1. What game was it? PBF?
2. What was it then?

It was a couple of PBFs a while back. Look at the PBFs table, there is one game of Spain vs. Arabia (rdonoso vs. Peristarkawan) and two games of American vs. Arabia (dlhammond vs. IirionClaus). Arabia won all three and it was not even close.
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pittpatt wrote:
1. What game was it? PBF?


38a

rdonoso wrote:
Some of the mods made test 1x1 games using arabia a little time ago, and we saw Arabia beat even a very good opening heavy analized Spain, and it was NOT the starting resources that made the game be forfeit. Arabia is much superior.


I disagree with these points. I do find Arabia the strongest, but that game is not a very good example.

rdonoso wrote:
a very good opening


Spain seemed to have 2-2-1 starting hand & didn't get a city turn 2. Both are subpar.

rdonoso wrote:
heavy analized


I think Spains analysis failed, since Arabia got to start hostilities with jump on two separate single armies. Spain should usually get to be attacker, because its massive movement bonuses (naval & +1).

rdonoso wrote:
it was NOT the starting resources that made the game


I can't see how that can be concluded from that game, since Arabia started using pottery right away & killed Spains best unit (3 Horseman) with iron.
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Riku Riekkinen wrote:
pittpatt wrote:
1. What game was it? PBF?


38a

rdonoso wrote:
Some of the mods made test 1x1 games using arabia a little time ago, and we saw Arabia beat even a very good opening heavy analized Spain, and it was NOT the starting resources that made the game be forfeit. Arabia is much superior.


I disagree with these points. I do find Arabia the strongest, but that game is not a very good example.

rdonoso wrote:
a very good opening


Spain seemed to have 2-2-1 starting hand & didn't get a city turn 2. Both are subpar.

rdonoso wrote:
heavy analized


I think Spains analysis failed, since Arabia got to start hostilities with jump on two separate single armies. Spain should usually get to be attacker, because its massive movement bonuses (naval & +1).

rdonoso wrote:
it was NOT the starting resources that made the game


I can't see how that can be concluded from that game, since Arabia started using pottery right away & killed Spains best unit (3 Horseman) with iron.

I have to agree with this. I followed these games and remember that Rhodonso specifically said that Arabia starting with iron unbalanced things as it protected him from Spains early military conquest. It would have been interesting to see how that game would have ended if Arabia had no starting resources.

I'm willing to admit that Arabia would be overpowered anyway but not nearly as much as they are now.
 
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pittpatt wrote:

What you guys don't understand is that this game has tons of resemblance to modern finance. Of course, the amount of "culture gain" is different, but there is another factor time preference: getting 3-4 I culture cards early is better than gaining them in turn 5-8. Getting Drought, Exchange, Revolts or We love... early is all about flexibility and denying your opponent important actions early (where they matter most).

You seem to be assuming that the only reason for advancing on the culture track is to gain the bonuses. If that is the case your argument might be valid. But many times both Rome and Arabia will go for a culture victory and then it's obviously an advantage to time that ability to be activated later on stage two or three of the culture track. Of course it's a nice boon for Rome that they can activate their ability more than once per turn.
 
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Yepe, that iron just ended my hopes, but, as I was saying, without that iron I thought I had a small chance, but I was with my feet on the ground, I knew from the beginning that I had no real chance.

What I am saying is, even with that iron being the final nail on my coffin, I could not overcome Arabia's powers.
 
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And about Spain usually attacking first, I even commented that on the game, something like "usually I would attack you right now, kill your scout and kill your flag, but I can't, math is too much of an advantage, I can't win this battle".

 
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Alandor wrote:
pittpatt wrote:

What you guys don't understand is that this game has tons of resemblance to modern finance. Of course, the amount of "culture gain" is different, but there is another factor time preference: getting 3-4 I culture cards early is better than gaining them in turn 5-8. Getting Drought, Exchange, Revolts or We love... early is all about flexibility and denying your opponent important actions early (where they matter most).

You seem to be assuming that the only reason for advancing on the culture track is to gain the bonuses. If that is the case your argument might be valid. But many times both Rome and Arabia will go for a culture victory and then it's obviously an advantage to time that ability to be activated later on stage two or three of the culture track. Of course it's a nice boon for Rome that they can activate their ability more than once per turn.


Well, I disagree here: Arabia has no cultural gain after the 3rd coin in EftA, maybe gains from MiC, but thats it. Same holds true for Rome.

Rome has the following advantages over Arabia:
1. Rome is way more flexible to win & most researches dont tell how Rome intendes to win.
2. Rome can use nearly all culture cards, including "We love the...:" to build wonders.
3. Late Barbs or Wonders are just like late Arabian investments.
4. Rome is more of a hybrid buildings vs. incense driven culture civ. Arabia is way more dependent on Incense (b/c less production in capital an ressource bonus). Any early drought, flooding or even middle game Ecology kills Arbia.

 
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rdonoso wrote:
Yepe, that iron just ended my hopes, but, as I was saying, without that iron I thought I had a small chance, but I was with my feet on the ground, I knew from the beginning that I had no real chance.

What I am saying is, even with that iron being the final nail on my coffin, I could not overcome Arabia's powers.


Would Arbia have had the same amount of units and great General and Iron without starting ressources?
 
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pittpatt wrote:
Alandor wrote:
pittpatt wrote:

What you guys don't understand is that this game has tons of resemblance to modern finance. Of course, the amount of "culture gain" is different, but there is another factor time preference: getting 3-4 I culture cards early is better than gaining them in turn 5-8. Getting Drought, Exchange, Revolts or We love... early is all about flexibility and denying your opponent important actions early (where they matter most).

You seem to be assuming that the only reason for advancing on the culture track is to gain the bonuses. If that is the case your argument might be valid. But many times both Rome and Arabia will go for a culture victory and then it's obviously an advantage to time that ability to be activated later on stage two or three of the culture track. Of course it's a nice boon for Rome that they can activate their ability more than once per turn.


Well, I disagree here: Arabia has no cultural gain after the 3rd coin in EftA, maybe gains from MiC, but thats it. Same holds true for Rome.

Rome has the following advantages over Arabia:
1. Rome is way more flexible to win & most researches dont tell how Rome intendes to win.
2. Rome can use nearly all culture cards, including "We love the...:" to build wonders.
3. Late Barbs or Wonders are just like late Arabian investments.
4. Rome is more of a hybrid buildings vs. incense driven culture civ. Arabia is way more dependent on Incense (b/c less production in capital an ressource bonus). Any early drought, flooding or even middle game Ecology kills Arbia.



Sounds like Ricardo (Arabia sans resources) v Sebastian (Rome) in a battle to the death.
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dlhammond wrote:
Sounds like Ricardo (Arabia sans resources) v Sebastian (Rome) in a battle to the death.

Heck, I would mod this.

pittpatt plays Rome. rdonoso plays Arabia. Best two out of three. FaF with GP deck. Coin from Metal Casting removed; Coin added to Railroad. Arabia starts with no Resources.

pittpatt, rdonoso, are you in?
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I assume no EftA 2/4/5? Played with open GP-Cards?

I'm in...
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